Serena Barton, 2013 District of Columbia History Teacher of the Year
Our congratulations go out to Ms. Serena Barton, a 5th grade teacher at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, on her selection as the 2013 DC History Teacher of the Year!
Ms. Barton has been a teacher at E.W. Stokes for six years, and engages her students in learning history by immersing them in experiences that bring history to life. She facilitates opportunities for her students to participate in deep analyses of primary sources, and to approach text with a critical eye and come to their own conclusions. In a unit on the Civil War, students listened to the Gettysburg Address, read and analyzed other speeches by Lincoln, and examined primary source maps and photographs to develop a sense of what life was like at that time.
Ms. Barton’s students’ writing, creative performances, test scores and engagement in school in general are all evidence of her impact as a teacher. Her students continuously show the most growth across the school as a result of her creative, engaging cross-curricular teaching methods and curriculum development.
Ms. Barton stated the following in her philosophy of education regarding her love for teaching history:
“Bringing history to life through fascinating primary sources, meaningful projects, and captivating historical fiction helps motivate students to want to learn more about the past. Students should also be guided through reflections on why it is important that we learn about the past. Students see the rewards of their hard work when they can make their own connections and apply lessons learned about history to the present and the future.”
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLIAH) conducts the National History Teacher of the Year Award as part of its mission to promote the study and love of American history. The award is co-sponsored by the GLIAH, HISTORY® (History Channel), and Preserve America. Started in 2004, the award celebrates outstanding American history teachers at the state and national level. For more information about this prestigious award, please visit the GLIAH website.
Our congratulations to Ms. Barton again as she moves forward to compete in the National History Teacher of the Year Competition!